By Wes Myhre
Ever contemplated rectangles? Did you know all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares? Consequently, all Jews are Israelites, but not all Israelites are Jews. Let us examine this conjecture.
“God’s plan of redemption is built upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David and Abraham. But Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient for the sins of the entire world, not just the Jews! Galatians 3:6-8 states, “Consider Abraham: ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’” ” (Taken from http://www.gotquestions.org/Israel-church.html titled, Are Israel and the church the same thing? Does God still have a plan for Israel?[emphases added]).
As stated in this quote from gotquestions.org, “…not just the Jews,” have you ever thought, who are the Jews; where do they come from; or what does it mean to be a Jew? What does the word Jew mean?
“Jews live in Israel and most observe Judaism, the Jewish religion; therefore, Jews are Israelis or from ancient times known as Israelites.” This sounded like the logical conclusion I had. From a very young age I believed that the modern day Jews encompassed all the Israelite lineages; and seemingly pastors and other well-meaning family and friends concurred with this sentiment as seen in the above snippet from gotquestions.org; and I had never really given this concept much thought, that is until the past couple of years. Once I started hearing there existed a possible difference between Jews, Israel, Judah and the other tribes, my head about exploded, “What does this all mean.” Well, as I contemplated this notion, I kept observing this reoccurring theme in several of the online studies in which my wife and I participate.
It began to dawn on me this topic might be of importance and should be studied out. The implications of it could affect my own thought processes and interpretations concerning biblical text. Certainly, these new commentators and bible teachers explained the differences; however, I have become accustomed to checking all that I hear, first, through the bible and then other ancient texts, contemporary books, articles, or essays. Often, these investigations can be arduous tasks in that the volume of material, readily available on the internet in which to sort, can bog me down, send me off on an interesting tangent, or just overwhelm me. Most of the time I jump the thought-tracks and move from the topic at hand, only to come back to it a few days later. So, it took me awhile to come to grips with this relatively simple observation of Jews, Israelites, Judah and Israel.
I learned there existed 12 tribes of Israel, progeny of Jacob; nonetheless though, the list of those tribes may differ depending on how they are listed. First, we must identify a difference between Jacob being Israel and the Nation of Israel. Remember, we will need to let scripture define itself, compare scripture with scripture to establish spiritual truths in YHWY’s Word. We must inspect ideas, concepts, beliefs, or traditions to see if they change YHWY, and if so, then that particular item needs to be discarded. Further, we will check to see if our manmade philosophies have been revealed to the prophets. We will utilize the principle “Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established,” as well as to examine the scriptures from a Hebraic perspective. Finally, please do not take my word for anything. Check out what I write with the bible, going to the scriptures and reading all passages in their full context.
And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Genesis 32:28 (Emphasis added.)
Here we see YHWY renamed Jacob as Israel and from this point to Jacob adopting Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, Israel’s sons are listed Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. (Note: here is the order of birth.)
23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid: Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram. Genesis 35:23-26 (Emphasis added.)
1Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. Exodus 1:1-4
Joseph is not listed because he was already in Egypt.
However, Jacob, aka Israel, adopted Ephraim and Manasseh from his deathbed.
And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Genesis 48:5 (Emphasis added.)
Therefore, from this point Jacob has fourteen sons, his first twelve and now Joseph’s two. So lets move on to three months, after YHWY had Moses (Mosheh) deliver the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, YHWY declared:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Exodus 19:6 (Emphasis added.)
Here we see Israel become a holy nation and listed the tribes.
1And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; 3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. 4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. 5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben (1); Elizur the son of Shedeur. 6 Of Simeon (2); Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 7 Of Judah (3); Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 8 Of Issachar (4); Nethaneel the son of Zuar. 9 Of Zebulun (5); Eliab the son of Helon. 10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim (6); Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh (7); Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 11 Of Benjamin (8); Abidan the son of Gideoni. 12 Of Dan (9); Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 13 Of Asher (10); Pagiel the son of Ocran. 14 Of Gad (11); Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 15 Of Naphtali (12); Ahira the son of Enan. Numbers 1:1-15 (Numbers in parenthesis added.)
Note the tribe of Levi is not listed here due to YHWY not giving them an inheritance of land.
Only unto the tribes of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them. Joshua 13:14
Furthermore, listed in the first chapter of Numbers we find the tribes of Israel who YHWY granted territory to in the Promised Land. Please observe in Numbers 1:10 “Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim (6); Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh (7); Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.” YHWY apportions shares of land to the children of Ephraim and Manasseh, doubling Joseph’s allotment, and the tribe of Joseph is represented by Ephraim and Manasseth
1 And it came to pass after the plague, that the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying,
2 Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers’ house, all that are able to go to war in Israel.
3 And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,
4 Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward; as the Lord commanded Moses and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt.
5 Reuben (1), the eldest son of Israel: the children of Reuben; Hanoch, of whom cometh the family of the Hanochites: of Pallu, the family of the Palluites:…
12 The sons of Simeon (2) after their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites: of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites: of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites:…
15 The children of Gad (3) after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites: of Haggi, the family of the Haggites: of Shuni, the family of the Shunites:…
19 The sons of Judah (4) were Er and Onan: and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.
23 Of the sons of Issachar (5) after their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites: of Pua, the family of the Punites:…
26 Of the sons of Zebulun (6) after their families: of Sered, the family of the Sardites: of Elon, the family of the Elonites: of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites.
29 Of the sons of Manasseh (7): of Machir, the family of the Machirites: and Machir begat Gilead: of Gilead come the family of the Gileadites.
35 These are the sons of Ephraim (8) after their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthalhites: of Becher, the family of the Bachrites: of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites.
38 The sons of Benjamin (9) after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites: of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites: of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites:…
42 These are the sons of Dan (10) after their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan after their families.
44 Of the children of Asher (11) after their families: of Jimna, the family of the Jimnites: of Jesui, the family of the Jesuites: of Beriah, the family of the Beriites.
48 Of the sons of Naphtali (12) after their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites: of Guni, the family of the Gunites:…
53 Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.
54 To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.
55 Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. Numbers 26:1-5, 12, 15, 19, 23, 26, 29, 35, 38, 42, 44, 48, 53-55 (Numbers in parenthesis added.)
The tribes who received territory in the Promised Land were Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. Here is a map which will outline the areas of land.
During the reign of King Solomon, Israel experienced the wealthiest and powerful central government that the Hebrews would ever see; however, the king achieved this acclaim at a dreadfully high cost, consisting of giving land away and compelling his citizens into forced labor to Tyre in order to pay for his indulgences.
Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son who succeeded his father on the throne, did not heed the advice of his elders but instead sought the counsel of those who were much younger, when the people of Israel pleaded with the young king for tax relief. On the recommendation of the young inexperienced advisors, King Rehoboam added to the heavy tax burden the citizenry already shouldered. You can read about his in 1 Kings 12.
It was at this point Israel broke into two houses: the house of Judah to the south with King Rehoboam reigning over the tribes of Judan, Benjamin, and some of the Levite priests, and the house of Israel to the north with King Jeroboam in command.
21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 1 Kings 12:21
And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. 2 Chronicles 11:1
Now through the use of deductive reasoning, we deduce that the House of Israel included the remaining tribes: Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, Manasseh, and possibly other Levites. Remember the Levites were not given any land but were in charge of the temple, located in Jerusalem; furthermore, it is possible the Danites offered priest services to Jeroboam, a practice that harkened back hundreds of years before in 1340 BC when the tribe of Dan stole Micah’s idols (Judges 17-19) and his priest, Jonathan, who founded a pagan priesthood which lasted until the tribe of Dan possibly died out in 723 BC.
7 And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there. 8 And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed. 9 And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place. 10 And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in. 11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons. 12 And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. Judges 17:7-12
30 And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. Judges 18:30
Also note, some scholars contend that the tribe of Dan, ushering in the pagan priests and practices, which YHWY addresses as fornicating with other gods, are not listed as one of the twelve tribes in the book of Revelation.
4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of (1) Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (2) Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (3) Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of (4) Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (5) Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (6) Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of (7) Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (8) Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (9) Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of (10) Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (11) Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (12) Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. Revelation 7:4-8 (Numbers and emphasis added.)
Here we see the Tribe of Ephraim is not listed as well but is covered through the tribe of Joseph.
Alright, let us return back to King Rehoboam and King Jeroboam, the house of Judah and the house of Israel. We first see a glimpse of the two houses in 1 Samuel 11:8 “And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.” And in 2 Samuel 2:11 we find, “And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.” (Emphasis added.) Our second witness is found in 1 Kings 2:11, “And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.” So in Samuel’s day there existed a division between Judah and Israel.
Let us jump forward where Jerimiah makes a distinction between the two houses.
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. Jerimiah 3:8 (Emphasis added.)
To stress this further, study out Ezekiel 23 the whole chapter, but for our discussion here, I will pull verses out of the chapter. Here we see YHWY using allegory, teaching a conceptual or divine meaning through the use of a tangible frame work. In this case we find YHWY using the two cities: Samaria, the capital of the house of Israel and Jerusalem, capital of the house of Judah. He refers to them as sisters. First though we need to establish Samaria is the capital of the house of Israel.
2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: 3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. 4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. Ezekiel 23:2-4 (Emphasis added.)
We find that King Omri reigned over Israel and purchased a hill building the city of Samaria, and looking at 1 Kings 16 we find the city became a capital of Israel.
23 In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: six years reigned he in Tirzah. 24 And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria. 1 Kings 16:23-24 (Emphasis added.)
And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 1 Kings 16:29 (Emphasis added.)
Of course we know Jerusalem was the capital of Judah, but for skeptics we will confirm this knowledge as well.
And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. 1 Kings 14:21 (Emphasis added.)
So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. 2 Chronicles 12:13 (Emphasis added.)
Going back to Ezekiel 23 looking at verse 5, “ And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,” (Emphasis added) and 8-9:
“8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her. 9 Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted” (Emphasis added).
As per the allegory, we know Samaria, representing the house of Israel, had fornicated with the Assyrians, who by the way represented the harlot of Baal, harkening back to Babylon, the tower Babel, and Nimrod, which in of itself is a fascinating, in depth bible study. (For more information on it see the Sunburned series from 119 Ministries or Nimrod from Rob Skiba.)
Turning over to Hosea, I suggest you read this book completely to understand the whole context and the gravity of Israel and Judah’s sin, but for now we will look at a few verses highlighting YHWY’s actions.
4 And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel, in the valley of Jezreel. 6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. 7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Hosea 1:4-7 (Emphasis added.)
Here we can see Hosea confirms Jeremiah 3:8, “…backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce…” as well as Jeremiah 31:32 “…which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord.”
Now we need to use our principles of biblical hermeneutics to filter our understanding, and to recap those principles, YHWY is never changing; it takes two or three witnesses to establish a matter; and YHWY will reveal a matter to His Prophets. As shown in Jeremiah 3:8 YHWY told Jeremiah he would divorce the house of Israel but not Judah, and He reestablished His divorce again in Ezekiel 23 and in Hosea 1; thus, confirming without a shadow of a doubt, He divorced the house of Israel.
YHWY stated what He would do through three sources and prophets, and He did it. YHWY does what He says. He revealed it to three prophets: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea as well as providing three witnesses to His plans.
“So what does this mean to me?” you may be asking yourself. Well, I am glad you asked. Let’s start at Jeremiah.
31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:31-34 (Emphasis added.)
I will not unpack everything in these four verses, but for our discussion let us just hit the very high points in this passage. YHWY announces He will make a new covenant with both houses of Israel and Judah, but later He states just the house of Israel. Here we see an emphasis on the house of Israel, and yes it would be easy to speculate as to why YHWY did this, but suffice it to say, He makes it clear the house of Israel is part of the new covenant.
YHWY goes on to explain this new covenant. He will put His law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their Elohiym, and they shall be His people. And they will cease to teach their neighbors to know Him because everyone will know Him.
Now we will wander down a short rabbit trail. The question to ask at this point is simple. Does everyone in the world know YHWY, today during the time of this information age? I am thinking not everyone; so then, is the new covenant completed or is it in the processes of being completed? You will need to think this one through on your own.
This new covenant Jerimiah talks about in Jerimiah 31 can also be found in Hebrews 8.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. Hebrews 8:7-11
The Brit Chadasha covers this new covenant in depth, but it also has other interesting aspects as well, such as the Melchizedek priesthood and the death of Yeshua. We will come back to this in little bit; however, let me shift gears on you by going back to 2 Kings where we find Assyria carting off the house of Israel, and Babylon doing the same to the house of Judah.
In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 2 Kings 17:6
In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Ezekiel 39:23
Now we know through scriptures the house of Israel never returned to their land.
17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:
19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. Ezekiel 36:17-19 (Emphasis added.)
In Deuteronomy YHWY warned Israel, both houses, Judah and Israel, they would be sifted among the nations:
64 And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. Deuteronomy 28:64
To make a long story short for the sake of time, we can conclude the house of Israel never returned to the Holy Land. Could have small independent families returned? Possibly. However, the bible does address this issue:
18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.20 And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.21 For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin.22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. 2 Kings 17:19-23 (Emphasis added.)
1Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.2 And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.4 They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord.5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity: Judah also shall fall with them. Hosea 5:1-5 (Emphasis added.)
Here is what we know at this point. The Assyrians carried the house of Israel away later to be dispersed to the nations. Babylon did the same to the house of Judah, but the house of Judah returned to Jerusalem until about 70 A.D. when the Romans expelled them from the Holy Land.
Now, the physical area where the house of Judah returned was known as Judea. Here we find the word Jew is slang for someone from the physical area such as Paul.
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Phillipians 3:4-6 (Emphasis added.)
39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. Acts21:39 (Emphasis added.)
We know the tribes of Judah and Benjamin lived in the area of Judea, and people from the area of Judea were known as Jews as well as those of the tribe of Judah. So to recap, a Jew could be from the area of Judea or from the tribe of Judah, or to encompass it all a Jew is from the house of Judah.
Furthermore, YHWY stated:
9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. Amos 9:9
19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. Ezekiel 36:19
Here we see the house of Israel has been dispersed among all the nations and have come to be known as Gentiles, which means of the nations. Let us put this into perspective. The twelve sons of Isaac become the nation of Israel, which divided into the house of Israel to the North and the house of Judah to the south. Assyria carted off the house of Israel beginning the dispersal to the nations, mixing with the pagan peoples joining the Gentiles.
Babylon carried off the house of Judah but this house returned later only to be exiled by the Romans around 70 A.D. The house of Judah occupied the area of Judea, and its members are known as Jews. Furthermore, the Jewish people or Jews returned to the Holy Land in 1948.
Strong’s Definition of Gentiles גּוֹי gôwy, go’-ee; rarely (shortened) גֹּי gôy; apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence, a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts:—Gentile, heathen, nation, people.
Eventually, after years of intermarriage with the heathen people of the nations and blood lines being mixed, the house of Israel lost its identity, when the house of Israel and the nations amalgamated into one people group, heathens identifying with Babylon. This concept is the key in understanding how the Gentiles attain salvation through adoption into the house of Israel.
13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. Zechariah 8:13
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? Romans 11:11-24
Seeing the house of Israel in this different light, rather than that taught in the mainstream church, changes our perception of the aforementioned verses. Here again, we see YHWY’s ability to take a dreadful situation and turn it around to bless the whole world, as addressed in Hebrews.
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. Hebrews 8:6-11
YHWY brought the house of Judah back to the Holy Land in 1948, and is in the process of restoring the house of Israel, and members of both houses attain salvation through the death of Yeshua Hamashiach. At this point, you will need to read this article, which will tie everything together in a neat, little package, God’s Divorce and Remarriage And The Restoration of Israel Through the New Covenant by Douglas Hamp.